Landslide Kills ‘Several’ People In Germany, 1,300 ‘missing’
‘Several’ people have died in a landslide which hit a flood-damaged town in Germany as the death toll from the country’s worst flooding crisis in decades topped 100 with some 1,300 people missing.
Homes and part of a castle in the town of Blessem, near Cologne, were demolished on Friday as waterlogged ground collapsed into a nearby gravel pit – ‘certainly’ causing deaths, local officials said, though were unable to immediately say how many.
A rescue operation is now underway to try and evacuate at least 15 people stranded in the town amid fears of a further collapse, with helicopters brought in to airlift them to safety. Some 55 residents had been evacuated overnight due to flooding but an unknown number returned today to examine the damage, officials said.
The national death toll from flooding now stands at 103 spread across the states of North-Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate, though most were concentrated in the district of Ahrweiler, south of Bonn.
Towns and villages in that district were almost completely destroyed overnight Wednesday when the Ahr river burst its banks – sweeping away homes even as terrified people sheltered inside, with officials warning the death toll there is likely to keep rising.
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